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Here's what kind of return you can expect from stock markets going forward – Financial Post

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Recent stock market volatility has put a spotlight on daily market movements for people who would not normally pay such close attention to their portfolio. Setting appropriate expectations about investment returns is important for investors and advisors. These expectations depend on several factors and impact investment and financial planning decisions.

Interest, dividends and capital gains

Most people in the investment industry use treasury bills or government bonds as a proxy for a risk-free rate of return. However, most average investors would consider a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) to be a more appropriate benchmark.

GIC rates are currently in the 2.5 per cent range for one-to-five-year terms. This is unusual, as longer-term GICs usually pay higher interest rates than shorter-term ones. The yield curve is currently “flat.” In order to secure rates of 2.5 per cent, you need to look past the banks to trust companies and credit unions, as the banks are only paying between 1.5 and two per cent.

The FTSE Canada Universe Bond Index is a good benchmark for mid-term Canadian investment grade bonds, including government and high-quality corporate bonds. The current yield to maturity (interest rate) is only 1.5 per cent.

The distribution yield (dividend rate) for the S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index is currently 3.6 per cent, and for the S&P 500, it is 2.4 per cent. These yields assume the underlying companies continue to pay the same dividends in the next year as they did in the past year, which may be questionable given the current state of the economy.

Higher yielding bonds are available for investors willing to take on more risk. Higher yielding stocks with larger dividends are available as well, albeit potentially at the expense of potential capital growth otherwise reserved for companies that may pay lower or no dividends.

Stock market investors expect to earn a return by way of capital appreciation or an increase in the underlying price of stocks. Stock markets generally rise over time, although that rise is not in a straight line, as we have seen underscored in 2020.

Historical returns

Stocks rise in value about three out of every four years. They typically do not fall in value in consecutive years as recessions tend to be short lived. Over the past 100 years, the S&P 500 has only had four multi-year declines, including four straight years at the outset of the Great Depression, three straight years at the start of the First World War, two years in a row during the 1973 oil crisis, and three consecutive years following the bursting of the tech bubble in 2000.

A balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds has not had a negative five-year return since 1935. As a result, a balanced investor with a time horizon of more than five years can probably expect to have a higher portfolio value than now by that time.

Over the past 50 years, the TSX has returned 9.1 per cent annually. The S&P 500 has returned 11.0 per cent in Canadian dollar terms. Canadian inflation over the past 50 years has been 3.9 per cent, so this means part of those returns are reflective of higher annual cost of living increases in the past than we are used to today. The Bank of Canada and most central banks have a two per cent inflation target.


A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) ticker is seen in the financial district of Toronto.

Cole Burston/Bloomberg files

Over the past 20 years, going back to the peaks of the 2000 dot-com bubble, Canadian stocks have only returned 6.3 per cent, and U.S. stocks, in Canadian dollars, only 5.4 per cent.

Historical bond returns are somewhat skewed because interest rates were so much higher in the past. Canadian three-month treasury bills — the aforementioned proxy for a Canadian risk-free rate — returned 5.6 per cent over the past 50 years, but just 2.0 per cent over the past 20 years. Given the three-month treasury bill yield is currently 0.27 per cent, this reinforces why some aspects of investment history can result in deceiving expectations for the future.

Expected returns

FP Canada is the professional body for Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) in Canada. Their 2020 Projection Assumption Guidelines found the average long-term return assumptions from 11 actuarial and asset management firms for bonds was 3.15 per cent. Canadian stocks, foreign developed market stocks (like the U.S.), and emerging market stocks (most notably China) were forecast at 6.05 per cent, 6.25 per cent, and 8.02 per cent respectively.

The most recent triennial Actuarial Report on the Canada Pension Plan from Dec. 31, 2018 included government estimates for stock market returns. They anticipated a “real” rate of return for public equities of 3.9 per cent until 2025 due to low cash returns. By 2025, their forecast was 4.3 per cent. In a two per cent inflation environment, these real returns suggest a nominal 5.9 to 6.3 per cent per year overall for stocks, with higher return potential identified for emerging markets and private equities.

There are other methods to try to forecast future stock market returns, perhaps most notably from Yale economist and Nobel Prize winner, Robert Shiller. The Shiller P/E, or cyclically adjusted price-earnings (CAPE) ratio, is a statistical method used to imply future stock market returns. It is determined by dividing the price of a stock or a stock market, like the S&P 500, by the average of the previous 10 years of inflation-adjusted corporate earnings.

A lower CAPE suggests that stock prices are cheap relative to historical earnings. A high CAPE — as we have right now in the U.S. — implies stocks are overvalued and future return expectations are low.

The Shiller P/E ratio has its criticisms, some of which suggest today’s CAPE cannot be compared to historical ratios due to low interest rates, different business and regulatory conditions, and changes in accounting methods.

Investment and financial planning

So, what does all this mean for investors and advisors? One takeaway should be that future stock market returns could be lower than they have been in the past. This prognostication has nothing to do with the pandemic or trying to make a call on what stocks will do for the balance of 2020. It has more to do with the fact that today’s low interest rates and inflation suggest future returns must be lower.

Long-term stock market returns of six to seven per cent are probably reasonable for most public stock market investors, and potentially seven to eight per cent for private equities and public emerging markets.

Most investors will not earn six to eight per cent simply because of fees and fixed-income exposure. Investors cannot invest for free, cannot consistently beat the market net of fees, and few investors are exclusively invested in stocks.

Advisors should be continuously monitoring an investor’s risk tolerance, using the pandemic volatility as a barometer for how much risk an investor is truly willing to take.

For purposes of retirement planning, long-term returns of three to six per cent as a range may be appropriate assuming a two per cent inflation rate, depending on asset allocation and fees, and contingent on whether a retirement plan includes a Monte Carlo simulation or stress testing.

Appropriate expectations about investment returns from year to year and over an investor’s lifetime can help improve short and long-term investment outcomes. Developing a financial plan based on those expectations can help set monthly saving and spending targets, evaluate insurance needs, determine tax and estate strategies, and keep an investor invested when the going gets tough.

Jason Heath is a fee-only, advice-only Certified Financial Planner (CFP) at Objective Financial Partners Inc. in Toronto, Ontario. He does not sell any financial products whatsoever.

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OPEC, allied nations extend nearly 10M barrel cut by a month – World News – Castanet.net

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OPEC and allied nations agreed Saturday to extend a production cut of nearly 10 million barrels of oil a day through the end of July, hoping to encourage stability in energy markets hard hit by the coronavirus-induced global economic crisis.

Ministers of the cartel and outside nations led by Russia met via video conference to adopt the measure, aimed at cutting the excess production depressing prices as global aviation remains largely grounded due to the pandemic. The curbed output represents some 10% of the world’s overall supply.

But danger still lurks for the market, even as a number of nations ease virus-related lockdowns, and enforcing compliance remains thorny.

Algerian Oil Minister Mohamed Arkab, the current OPEC president, warned meeting attendees that the global oil inventory would soar to 1.5 billion barrels by the mid-point of this year.

“Despite the progress to date, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels,” Arkab said. “The challenges we face remain daunting.”

That was a message echoed by Saudi Oil Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman, who acknowledged “we all have made sacrifices to make it where we are today.” He said he remained shocked by the day in April when U.S. oil futures plunged below zero.

“There are encouraging signs we are over the worst,” he said.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak similarly called April “the worst month in history” for the global oil market.

The decision came in a unanimous vote, Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei of the United Arab Emirates wrote on Twitter. He called it “a courageous decision.”

But it is only a one-month extension of a production cut that was deep enough “to keep prices from going so low that it creates global financial risk but not enough to make prices very high, which would be a burden to consumers in a recessionary time,” said Amy Myers Jaffe, senior fellow at the Council for Foreign Relations.

“There is so much uncertainty that I think they took a conservative approach,” she said. “You don’t know how much production is going to come back on. You don’t know what’s going to happen with demand. You don’t know if there’s going to be a second (pandemic) wave.”

Jaffe said improved oil demand in China and Asia and a gradual stabilization of demand in the United States and to some extent Europe, where there’s some cautious economic reopening, were encouraging for producers.

OPEC has 13 member states and is largely dominated by oil-rich Saudi Arabia. The additional countries involved part in the so-called OPEC Plus accord have been led by Russia, with Mexico under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador playing a considerable role at the last minute in the initial agreement.

Crude oil prices have been gaining in recent days, in part on hopes OPEC would continue the cut. International benchmark Brent crude traded Saturday at over $42 a barrel. Brent had crashed below $20 a barrel in April.

Earlier this year, when demand was down, Saudi Arabia was flooding the market with crude oil, helping to send prices down to record lows. That prompted the U.S. government in April to take the unusual step of getting involved in OPEC’s negotiations, pressuring members of the cartel to agree to cuts to help end the oil price free-fall.

At the time, President Donald Trump said the U.S. would help take on some of the cuts that Mexico was unwilling to make. And perhaps more importantly, a group of U.S. senators upset over the impact on U.S. shale production said at the time that they had drafted legislation which would remove American forces, including Patriot Missile batteries, from Saudi Arabia.

Under a deal reached in April, OPEC and allied countries were to cut nearly 10 million barrels per day until July, then 8 million barrels per day through the end of the year, and 6 million a day for 16 months beginning in 2021.

In a rambling Rose Garden speech on Friday, Trump took credit for the April deal. “People said that wasn’t possible but we got Saudi Arabia, Russia and others to cut back substantially,” he said. “We appreciate that very much.”

U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette tweeted his applause Saturday for the extension, which he said comes “at a pivotal time as oil demand continues to recover and economies reopen around the world.”

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HSBC warns it could face reprisals in China if UK bans Huawei equipment: Telegraph – Investing.com

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© Reuters. HSBC’s building in Canary Wharf is seen behind a City of London sign outside Billingsgate Market in London

(Reuters) – HSBC Holdings Plc (L:) Chairman Mark Tucker has warned Britain against a ban on networking equipment made by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, claiming the bank could face reprisals in China, the Telegraph reported on Saturday.

Tucker made the claim in private representations to British Prime Minster Boris Johnson’s advisers, the newspaper reported https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/06/06/hsbc-warns-downing-street-chinese-reprisals-huawei, citing industry and political sources.

Britain designated Huawei a “high-risk vendor” in January, capping its 5G involvement at 35% and excluding it from the data-heavy core of the network. It is looking at the possibility of phasing Huawei out of its 5G network completely by 2023, according to officials.

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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HSBC warns it could face reprisals in China if UK bans Huawei equipment: Telegraph – Reuters

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FILE PHOTO: HSBC’s building in Canary Wharf is seen behind a City of London sign outside Billingsgate Market in London, Britain, August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

(Reuters) – HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L) Chairman Mark Tucker has warned Britain against a ban on networking equipment made by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, claiming the bank could face reprisals in China, the Telegraph reported on Saturday.

Tucker made the claim in private representations to British Prime Minster Boris Johnson’s advisers, the newspaper reported here citing industry and political sources.

Britain designated Huawei a “high-risk vendor” in January, capping its 5G involvement at 35% and excluding it from the data-heavy core of the network. It is looking at the possibility of phasing Huawei out of its 5G network completely by 2023, according to officials.

Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler

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